First off, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?
I’m Vlad the Guru I’m 23 and I’m from the east side of Pittsburgh PA.
What does Vlad the Guru mean to you in 2018? And how does that compare to what the project meant to you guys when it was formed?
I’m assuming you mean my mixtape INTRO, it honestly was exactly what it’s named. An introduction to Vlad the Guru, it was a mix of many different styles showing you my capabilities as an artist and what I have to offer. Looking back at it now compared to when first creating it, I honestly don’t even like it nearly as much as I used to and I think I’ve progressed tremendously.
What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output?
In the near, i have my first full length album dropping closer towards the end of the year. As for the the distant future, Im gonna be a superstar, no doubts about it.
Do you consider yourself to be part of a particular sound or scene? What are your thoughts on the nature of genres and styles, and do you have any particular ones which you find to your enjoyment more, listening and/or production-wise?
Personally, no, I don’t think I’m in any specific scene, I think I sound like Vlad, and no one else has that and I refuse to put myself into a box, I’m not a rapper, I’m an artist. I listen to damn near everything, from your Lil Pump and XXXTENTACION to Asking Alexandria and Bring me The Horizon, all the way to doowop classics and Frank Sinatra.
What would you say are your favorite themes and topics that inspire you to compose? What draws you to those themes? Do you see a spiritual or magickal connection to your art, or is it purely an emotional expression? Would you consider yourself to be an overall political or spiritual individual? If so, if how what would you say are your strongest/most important views and/or causes?
I’ve never necessarily chosen a theme for any song, it’s all mostly based off of the emotions I’m feeling at that moment and the beat I’m listening to. I definitely see a spiritual connection in my music, this shit gets deep. With that being said, I’m a very spiritual person, my strongest viewpoint on anything is just stop the fucking hating.
So much has been said, and it sometimes feels that every word combination has been taken. As a lyricist myself I know the pain of how hard it can be to articulate something in a way that is both engaging to the audience and uniquely artist. How do you find inspiration for your lyrical poetry?
I rarely ever think about who is going to be listening to my music, I make music that I like to hear, I’m just lucky enough that everyone else likes to hear it too. And my inspiration for it all is myself, my friends, yourself, my fans, relationships just all of life in general and everything that comes with this lifestyle.
What would you say are your biggest influences when it comes to art and music? Are there any bands that you would say struck you with the chord that inspired you to peruse your current path of musical aspirations?
Biggest influences are definitely gonna be Tupac, XXXTENTACION, Trippie Redd, and I won’t even act like Drake ain’t push me to go way harder. Only reason I started rapping was because when I was in high school I was in a band, doing screams and cleans, and niggas just were not dedicated to it like I was, I saw my mans rapping and everyone was on his tip. I was like I can do that, I bet I can do that better. So that’s what I did, and here I am haha.
When it comes to your musical self and your real-world self, would you say that there is a separation? Do you find yourself getting into a character or mindset when you create, or do you find your music is a representation of your day to day self?
My music for surely represents me as a person, there is no musical self or real self it’s all me. Sometimes I’m sad, sometimes I love, other times I’m lit or angry or both haha, but regardless anything I put out is in relation to a different part of me.
How do you enjoy where you live? Is there a vibrant music community where you are? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity?
I love Pittsburgh, it’s alright for the most part, I have some great friends here. As far as the music community goes, it’s littered with hundreds of mediocre or completely trash artists that make it hard to get the average person to give a local musician the time of day. And I’d say I’m starting to grow on locals and I have a solid fan base from them but the most of my fans and supporters are either out of state in LA and around the east coast or out of the country in places like the UK and Australia. It’s just difficult with Pittsburgh because it seems like everybody wanna hear the same old trap flow and nothing else, shits old and played out to me. Don’t nobody else listen to it but us haha.
Playing live shows, recording new tracks, attempting to go live the life that gives you the experiences that inspires it all... it can be difficult to balance the time. Do you have any particular methods that you use to keep yourself focused or balanced in your direction? What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?
It’s never hard to stay focused on this, I think about it sleep about it dream and breath about it. If I’m not working im writing, if I’m not doing that I’m networking or doing self promotion, biggest challenge though, I’d say trying to be nice when some random asks for a free feature. Like nah nigga I put way to much into this for you to ride the wave for free.
For fans who have not seen you yet, when it comes to your live show, how would you describe yourself thematically and visually? Are you an energy and audience-driven band in the live atmosphere? Or would you consider yourself to be more thematic or presentation oriented?
I’m all about raising audiences energy when it comes to live performances, I want you to feel like we’re all apart of something together, only because we are.
Would you say that your choice to pursue music has changed your life since you started? Would you say that creativity has evolved you spiritually, emotionally, or logically?
I don’t even know who I’d be without music, I can’t see me doing anything else. The creativity has helped me grow in every way, it’s therapy and meditation for me. I completely escape when I’m in it.
Outside of Hip-Hop, what other genres could you see yourself composing music in? Or should I say, do you see yourself inspired by?
Like I said I used to be in a metal band and did the screams and cleans, so don’t be surprised if on an album I do some crazy SCXRLXRD type track.
If you could collaborate with any musician or artist, dead or alive, who would it be? And what in particular draws you to want to collaborate with them?
That’s an easy one, would definitely have to be XXXTENTACION, simply because he reminds me of myself in so many different ways along with our versatility I believe we would make platinum plaques no doubt.
What sort of new artists or bands have come out in recent years that have caught your attention? Are there any bands out there you see yourself, or would like to, remix or collaborate with in the future?
If I we’re to pick anyone I’d say for sure Trippie Redd, he’s one of my favorite artist out, we could definitely make some bangers.
Outside of music, what are some of your favorite past times and emotional engagements?
Haha I literally smoke weed and rap, no lie this is my entire life. I mean I play video games here and there when I need a break but that’s not very often.
Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?
Hey, again, I’m Vlad the Guru be sure to buy or stream my newest single “FLEXXX” on your iTunes Spotify Pandora or anywhere else you can stream and buy music! Thanks everyone for your support, I couldn’t do it without you.
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